ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has condemned government’s moves to suspend striking teachers saying such knee jerk approaches will not solve the problems at hand amid calls for the warring parties to resort to the negotiating table.
The remarks come shortly after Education Minister, Doctor Evelyn Ndlovu announced that all teachers who did not turn up for work this week had been compulsorily placed on automatic suspension for a period of three months without pay.
Speaking to The Humanitarian Post Friday, ZCTU secretary general, Japhet Moyo criticized government for using an “inhumane” approach to resolve the crisis.
“Workers concerns are clear and justified. The salary pegs we are using in Zimbabwe can no longer sustain the daily costs,” he said.
Moyo underscored that what is more worrying is for a government to just wake up and suspend workers “without following due processes.”
“The laws of this country are very clear and of all institutions, the Government ought to know better. We strongly condemn such a knee-jerk approach to a national crisis.
“It is not a secret that workers are suffering from the economic hardships spurred by the ever devaluing Zimbabwean dollar,” he said.
He blamed the devaluation of salaries as a result of government policy through the promulgation of SI 33 of 2019 that distorted wages and urged the government to use the proper channels to address its mistakes and restore the value of wages and salaries.
He said the ZCTU gives its full support to the teachers because they are fighting a genuine cause and called upon government to take responsibility for downgrading a once noble profession, which was the envy for many in the past where teachers were venerated in society before becoming the laughing stock of the community.
We need to restore the dignity of both the teachers and the classroom. As a labour body we reiterate our position that for the time being, the solution to problems and the only inescapable solution is for the government and all employers to pay a living wage and other benefits in United States Dollars.